Only four in ten candidates standing in this year’s local elections live in the wards that they are contesting, and in two wards NONE of the candidates live in the area, according to an interactive map created by BirminghamEastside.
The map, based on an analysis of election documents – reveals that many parts of the city struggle to put forward local candidates for election.
Inner city areas Aston and Ladywood have no candidates who live in those wards, while in a dozen other wards, including Kingstanding, Selly Oak, Nechells and Shard End, only one of the candidates standing for election is from the area.
Chris Lowe, a Ladywood resident who belongs to the Labour Party, says:
“I think that it is important for candidates to either have knowledge of the ward they are standing for, or be willing to learn about that ward.
“Council wards are small, and so it isn’t surprising that candidates don’t always live in that ward. In my experience, councillors don’t have to live in a ward to have a lot of knowledge about the ward.
“Good councillors will spend most of their time in their ward and will build up good local connections. Having existing local links certainly helps candidates and new councillors, but it is less important than a good work ethic once elected.”
The map shows a concentration of candidates living in the suburban belt, with areas like Quinton, Acocks Green, Sutton New Hall and Oscott boasting the highest proportion of candidates from those areas.